The work of chef Richard Sandoval, this fish taco recipe comes together with just six ingredients and provides a light, easy summertime dish. We like how the fish is marinated in a classic salsa before being sautéed to perfection, and we also found this recipe is flexible enough to swap in whatever fish you’ve got on hand, like the freshly caught tuna you have sitting in the cooler after a day of fishing.
For the tacos
- 3/4 Pounds red snapper, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 Cup fresh salsa
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 12 mini yellow corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 Cup cabbage slaw (recipe below)
- 2 ripe avocados
For the slaw
- 3/4 Cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
- 2 Tablespoons finely shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 Cup finely diced tomato
- 3 Tablespoons finely diced yellow tomato
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle in adobo
- 1 Teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 Teaspoon honey
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Pinch of salt
Baja Fish Tacos
Is there a better “newish” hand-held food than fish tacos? Battered or baked, spicy or not… someone was using their brain when they decided tacos deserved a pairing with those aquatic craniate animals. This version goes back to the origins, as fish tacos were born in the Baja area. The first fish tacos were like these: a delicate fish lightly battered and fried, served in a tortilla with a mayo slaw. Are we reinventing perfection here? No, we are sharing it with you.
Baja Fish Tacos
To a large bowl, add green cabbage, purple cabbage, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, cilantro, honey, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to coat and set aside.
To a food processor add, avocado, garlic, 1/4 cup cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, 1.5 tablespoons of lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Blend until smooth and looks like a puree or dressing. Set aside.
Baja Fish Tacos:
To a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to blend everything together.
Season both sides of cod with spice blend and gently rub in.
Heat a large non-skillet skillet to medium-high heat.
Add avocado oil to pan once hot and immediately add season cod. Sear each side for 2-3 minutes. (the cod is done when it is still white in the center and gently flakes apart)
Remove cod from pan and set on a plate to rest.
To heat corn tortillas: Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, spray both sides of tortilla with cooking spray and cook for 1-2 minutes on either side until browned.
Assemble Baja Fish Tacos: To one heated corn tortilla add 2 tablespoons of avocado crema, 1/3 cup slaw, 2 oz. of cod, and (optional) pico de gallo.
Tips and tricks for making Baja Fish Tacos
- Prepare the beer batter right before you fry the fish. I find that the batter is much lighter and airy this way because the beer is still bubbly and carbonated. The longer the batter sits, the flatter and denser the batter will get.
- Use a firm, mild-flavored fish like cod, halibut, or even mahi-mahi. If using frozen fish, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it as dry as you can with some paper towels.
- Heat corn tortillas in a skillet or a griddle. I highly recommend heating them in a skillet or a flat griddle over medium-high heat until they develop some toasted brown spots on both sides. Not only does this warm them up, but it also firms them up and helps to prevent them from ripping or falling apart.
- You can reheat leftover beer-battered fish. To reheat, place the fish on a baking sheet and heat in a 400ºF oven until hot and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Cheers to good homemade Mexican food!
Baja Fish Tacos
To make the Baja fish tacos recipe, I like to start by prepping as much as possible before I fry the fish. You will want to serve the fish hot out of the pan so it is smart to have everything ready for action before the fish hits the oil. Start by cleaning and drying and cutting the fish, let it set out on a paper towel while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Fresh Salsa – Chop up all of the veggies, and mix together your fresh salsa in a medium bowl. Feel free to add more or fewer jalapenos to adjust the level of spice. I also have seen folks add some cayenne pepper here, which would be nice if you like a little extra kick! Set the bowl in the fridge to marinate while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Taco Slaw – Next, prepare the taco slaw. Grab another bowl and mix together the coleslaw and ranch, toss to coat. You can also add any other fresh greens that you want to this portion. We sometimes add chopped arugula, kale, or cilantro to the slaw mixture. Pop the bowl in the refrigerator next to your salsa and move on to make your fish sauce.
Fish Taco Sauce – In a small bowl, mix together ranch and sour cream. We like to put ours in a squeeze bottle, but if you don’t have one handy, you can always put it in a plastic baggie and snip the end off, kind of like a piping bag! Toss that in the fridge as well.
Beer Batter – Finally, mix the beer batter dry mixture and the beer together. The consistency should be a little runnier than pancake batter. If your batter is too thick your crust will be too soft and thick. You can always add a little water to adjust the thickness if necessary.
Fried Fish Tacos – Now you are ready to start frying the cod fillets. Heat the oil in a pan, and while the oil is getting hot, you can start putting your tortillas, salsa, slaw and white sauce out on the table. This next step will go fast so call the troops to the table. Dip the dried cod into the batter (make sure to coat all sides) and drop it into the hot oil. Cook each piece 4-5 minutes total, flipping when the crust is golden brown. Cook in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Pull each piece out of the hot oil and onto a dry paper towel. Serve immediately.
How to Make Baja Fish Taco Sauce
Whisk together the following in a small bowl:
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup Mexican crema (or use sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ a small lime)
- 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce (sriracha is great here) &ndash chili powder works great here, too
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1-2 fresh cloves, minced)
- Pinch of salt
Done! Scoop it over your tacos and you&rsquore good to go!
How to make Baja fish tacos?
- The best way to make fish tacos is by preparing all the ingredients separately. Make the slaw first so that you can assemble your tortillas immediately after you cook your tilapia.
- Allow the tortillas to be warm for a while, you can microwave them for 30 seconds. Also, mix all the ingredients for the chipotle sauce and set aside.
- Wait for the tilapia to fry and you are ready to assemble your tacos and enjoy them! Be sure to keep a close eye on the fish, because of tilapia fries very quickly. I recommend frying over medium heat, if the heat is too high, the fillets will turn blackish.
We made these as written except marinated the fish in marinade for 1 hour prior to grilling. Excellent flavor and the mahi-mahi came out very moist. Definitely recommend!
Unfortunately I didn't have time to make the Mexican Crema- next time! Sounds great. I live in Taiwan and imagine mahi-mahi is hard to find. I used a white fish (don't ask me what, everything's in Chinese). Other than these two changes I followed it to the letter and I still loved it a lot! I tried a lot of dishes this week and couldn't replicate any of them. It's difficult to find the stuff I need for them, so it's more of a question of "Do I like this even though circumstances forced me to alter it?" Here I would say yes.
So good. It's my second time making it!
This is a wonderful recipe! Made it twice with rave reviews from all. The first time made it for tacos, used tilapia, decreased the oil as suggested by other reviewers. Since the fillets were smaller, I fried them in a pan. Topped with the Southwestern slaw and avocado cream. The second time I used larger tilapia fillets and grilled them. Then made a mango-pineapple salsa and served them as a main course.
This is a great Baja style fish taco recipe (and I am a huge connisseur of fish tacos being from Southern California). My boyfriend loves it. Non fat sour cream works just fine as a substitute for the Mexican crema. High quality fish makes a difference - I've done it with both Mahi Mahi and Halibut.
I've made this many times and it's just the best. The reviews are helpful, I also make lots of extra slaw to go with the tacos.
LOVED this. Made exactly to the recipe - Easy and Tasty - a Keeper!
This recipe was awesome for grilled fish tacos. The slaw was perfect (surprised the honey worked so well), and all of the components were great together. Will definitely make again.
This recipe is delicious. Iɽ add way more lime juice and def use mahi or some other less fishy fish. I once made it with cod and that was not as good.
This is a favorite in the summer time. I skip the southwestern slaw and stick to good old fashion cabbage. And if you like spice, I also add fresh chipotles to the crema sauce and blend it up to give it a kick. YUM!
As a cook who is forever looking for a good, fresh, healthy and tasty recipe. with a few modifications, this one fit the bill! I subbed shrimp for the mahi, added double the lime juice and the zest of one lime to the marinade. I would let it marinate a bit longer next time. The cole slaw is great. I added more lime juice, more honey, more cilantro, and shallots instead of red onion. delish! Lastly in the cream I did the lime juice and zest, but added some cumin, honey, salt, pepper and chipotle tobasco. so good! I ran out of onion so I skipped the pico all together and just added some more chipotle tobasco to the finished taco. absolutely a new favorite dish!
Look no further, this is simply the best, freshest, most delicious fish taco recipe you will try. please take my word for it, I have been looking a very long time. Mahi mahi is not readily available here, but any firm white fish will work nicely. My husband and I prefer the flour tortillas as the milder flavour lets the fish and other flavours through with more prevalence. but if you're not sure, why not try both and let your own taste decide! Of all the ingredients, the tortillas are among the least expensive. Great recipe, it does not disappoint. But you must have it with the slaw as others recommend.
This fish taco recipe is our favorite. Grilling makes it that much easier and healthier. Use corn or flavored corn tortillas instead of flour. The slaw is a must but we like just regular, fresh pico de gallo. Don't make the slaw too far in advance. it looses its crunch with time because of the lime.
This was a nice change to tilapia. I wouldn't recommend using tilapia because it is so bland. I marinated the fish for two hours and it still didn't have the flavor I hoped for. But this was a good dish and I will definitely make it again using a different white fish. I broiled the fish as well. The slaw was great and I, too, used greek yogurt. I found a bag of shredded cabbage, broccoli and carrots made it so much easier.
We thought this recipe was a keeper. The fish was excellent - added a bit more salt and Tony's. Next time I'll add a chopped up jalapeno to the marinade. Will also double the slaw - it's just outstanding. So simple and delicious! I did double the Mexican Crema. This will be made often. SO GOOD.
This was awesome. My brother, who never eats fish, raved about this recipe. The slaw was definitely an essential part of this recipe. This is going to become a regular part of my barbecue rotation.
It rained, so we broiled fresh mahi rather than grilling. Other than that, followed recipe to the "T." The tacos were fantastic! Will make again and again.
I have made this recipe in its entirety many times and I just love it, always yummy and satisfying! Now I use it as my baseline for judging fish tacos everywhere. So far (and Im from California), I havent found any I like better. Tip: I halve the recipe for the marinade, there is always a lot remaining and it seems a waste. Other than that. Enjoy!
I found this to be bland, however with some small changes I would elevate it to three forks. For one, the slaw needs more lime juice (and perhaps black pepper). For another, I would double the chilis (I used chilis in adobo, and the sauce helped) in the salsa. Plus, slap on plenty of the crema to add moisture to the whole thing.
Loved this. I made it in oven under broiler. I placed on aluminum foil and cooked longer than the recipe recommended. My husband said it was great. I used store bought salsa which may not be as good but took less time. Generally this is a very easy meal to cook.
made it pretty much as is except for the crema (made it with yoghurt instead and added some adobo sauce). And used corn tortillas. Cos there's only two of us we halved everything except the slaw and glad we didn't reduce the amount of that we made! was delish! and will make again!
This was easy and excellent. I made it with a basic white fish. The kids ate it wrapped up with cheese and my husband and I added the Southwestern slaw. Great alternative to a beef or chicken taco for the family. So good I would serve it for guests too!
Excellent. Made this for only two, but made entire recipe of sides and ate all of cabbage and most of the salsa. Not sure how much chipolte it really calls for, half a pepper or half a can? I put in two peppers and it was nice and fresh. Cabbage side was great. Cooked 1/2 lb Alaskan cod for the two of us, on tin foil on the grill because the grill master doesn't like to grill naked fish. Also wrapped torts in foil and put on grill. Had with a sparkling Bugey Mondeuse rose which was lovely, stood up to the acid of the salsa. Will make again.
What are Baja Fish Tacos?
Whether you are Mexican food lover like me or no,when you will try these baja style fish tacos,you will definitely start to love Mexican food .
These fried fish tacos are batter fried crispy fish(they not pan fried or baked ,but you can go for that if you do not wish for deep fried fish) served in a corn tortilla (you can optionally use flour tortilla) with pico de gallo,citrus crispy cabbage slaw and baja fish taco sauce.
Baja Fish Tacos
1. First make the batter. Combine ¾ cup arepa flour or rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, and water in a bowl. Add the water and whisk until smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Next make the pickled barberries and goji berries. In a small pot, bring the water, vinegar and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the barberries and goji berries in a small bowl. Cover and let sit so the fruit absorbs the brine.
3. Then prepare the yogurt. Simply mix the yogurt, chopped dill, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt together. Let this sit for about 30 minutes before serving, so the chia seeds are just softened a bit.
4. Fill a high-sided sauté pan with about ¾ to 1 inch of grape-seed oil. Set it over medium-high heat.
5. Once the batter has set for 30 minutes, get ready to bread and fry the fish. Fill a shallow bowl with 1 cup arepa flour or rice flour, and dredge each piece of fish. Then dip each piece in the batter and gently add to the hot oil. Let cook for about 2 minutes on each side until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked pieces to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle generously with salt while still warm.
6. To assemble the taco, start with a corn tortilla (warm it in dry frying a pan for a minute on each side). Add a dollop of yogurt, a couple pieces of fish, and a few pickled barberries and goji berries. Finish with thinly sliced radishes, a squeeze of lime, and chili oil, if desired.